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Offshore wind farm approved in northern B.C.  

It’s full steam ahead in the new year for an offshore wind farm being proposed for the Hecate Strait.

NaiKun Wind Energy Group had the terms of reference for its environmental assessment approved this week by the federal environmental assessment office.

The terms of reference provide the company with details on the areas it will need to study during the coming months in order to get approval for its project.

“This is an important step forward for NaiKun,” said Ray Castelli, CEO and president of NaiKun Wind Development Inc.

“The Environmental Assessment Office has recognized we have adequately consulted and addressed issues identified by first nations, government agencies and the public regarding the project’s environmental terms of reference.

“The next step is to continue gathering information, move ahead with the approved studies, collect the necessary data, and prepare the final analysis for our formal application submission expected in late 2008.”

In British Columbia, major projects require an environmental assessment process. The process assesses the project’s potential impacts and identifies ways to mitigate or minimize adverse effects.

The review is conducted and coordinated by the provincial government’s Environmental Assessment Office.

NaiKun initiated the assessment process in 2003, and has since held two separate public comment periods to obtain feedback on the terms of reference.

“The environmental assessment review is an important process which not only identifies potential environmental issues but also helps developers like NaiKun to engage the local community and focus on public outreach initiatives to ensure accurate project information is available,” said Castelli.

NaiKun is proposing Canada’s first offshore wind project, to be located off the Queen Charlotte Islands. The first phase is currently under development for submission in BC Hydro’s 2008 Clean Energy Call and is now in the pre-application phase of B.C.’s environmental assessment process.

By Leanne Ritchie, Prince Rupert Daily News

The Vancouver Sun

22 December 2007

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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